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Future of the Lincoln County Fairgrounds may hang in the balance!

Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Newport Google Earth image

Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Newport
Google Earth image

A preliminary redevelopment plan for the Lincoln County Fairgrounds will be presented at a series of upcoming public meetings. Consultant Don Mann, former manager of the Port of Newport, has put together a preliminary proposal that includes recommendations for the construction and renovation of structures on the grounds, a financing plan and an operations plan.

The public meetings will take place:
Monday, June 15th – 6pm – Toledo City Hall
Friday, June 19th – 6pm – Lincoln City City Hall
Monday, June 29th – 6pm – Waldport City Hall

Mann was recently hired by the County Commissioners and Fair Board to review the Blue Ribbon Fair Committee report, the work of the ECONorthwest/LRS Architects consulting team, and the input from two rounds of public meetings. “Now it’s time to come up with a definite proposal for us to act on,” said Commissioner Bill Hall, who also serves on the Fair Board. “This will be a chance for people to hear about the proposal and offer their feedback.”

A recent proposal was floated for an Expo type building that would be flexibly used as an indoor arena to smaller events and meeting areas. But it was also pointed out that the facility may not pay for itself – consultants pointing out that the facility would help pump up the area’s local economy rather than make the fairgrounds a profit center. So the benefits would be harvested mainly by local businesses rather than the fairgrounds. That idea was met with a deafening silence.

As many know, Don Mann has more than proven he can take an idea and run with it – helping to land the NOAA Pacific Fleet headquarters at South Beach, snatching the prize away from several much larger cities.

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